The Future of GM Technology...

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by ULTRA, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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  3. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    Haahaa! You so funny!! a reputable source, not biotech industry mouthpiece! I thought you were going to produce something that would pass your own test! I provided you with credible, independent evidence. Your turn!

    No really, don't bother [right of recall]. We both know there are, and always have been serious concerns over the technology. The list of countries with a total ban on GMO's is extensive. Has it never occured to you that they might have done that for a reason? They have scientists too, in Ireland and mexico and the rest. Are you seriously saying they're all wrong? That they're all mistaken? That you, Sceptic are privvy to some information they're not? 'Cos I for one would love to see that. I worked in genetics remember? We had to keep our samples in liquid nitrogen and wear space-suits to handle them, to prevent contamination.

    It's not as dangerous as the anti lobby make out, I'm sure of that. But nobody can prove it is even reasonably safe either. Nobody but the biotech industry wants to have to grow this stuff, and when they do there are all manner of problems from viral infiltration to cross-pollination to the killing of bees to human health problems. The EU regulations do not allow animals fed on GM to even enter the food-chain.

    So spare me the insistance on it being safe, 'cos it's not.
     
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  5. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Ultra

    The problem with your argument is that you are still just making claims. Get specific, and back up your claims with a reputable source. Otherwise what you are posting is just hot air.

    As far as the isaaa site is concerned, - sorry, you are wrong. This is a reputable web site. It concentrates on news and science related to biotech. It is reputable because it presents factual material.

    If you wish to discredit this web site, you are free to try. You can use the method I used to shoot down your "Ecologist" crackpots. That is : search the web site till you find something that is clear cut garbage. Feel free to do so.

    You have plenty of time to search. I will be away from my computer for most of the next five days. By the time I can reply, you should be able to find all the ammunition you need. Unless you are wrong, of course.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
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  7. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  8. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    That list is not even accurate. Sweden, Romania and Germany, for example, are growing GM crops, albeit small scale. Some of the other countries are not growing GM crops simply because they have not found one of economic advantage - not because they have any ban.

    My own country, New Zealand, does not suffer the corn borer pest, so does not need to use Bt corn, and we do not grow soya beans or cotton, meaning no GM crops. No ban, though. We are experimenting with GM onions at present, including field trials. Australia has had a long term study on GM cotton, and may begin it commercially soon.

    The interesting thing about lists of nations that refuse to touch GM is that the list is a shrinking one. Each year, one or two more countries begin to grow GM crops.

    Eventually, good science will overcome irrational ideas, and GM will be grown everywhere it confers an advantage.
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    There's nothing at all in that link about problems of any kind. They aren't discussed. The link shows extremely rapid expansion of GM crop acreage - that is not something from which a lack of problems can be inferred.

    There is nothing about 16 years of large scale GM in full field use, either - on the contrary, the article celebrates the sudden expansion of what started small, only hitting its stride five or six years ago.

    As far as reputation, the following baldfaced lie is found in that article:
    Conventional breeding is not genetic modification. That assertion is far too obviously false to be an innocent mistake.

    That source is about as disreputable as a source can be, in this matter, if evidence counts.
     
  10. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    iceaura

    Your 'baldfaced lie' is actually just your opinion. In fact, many international and government agencies have endorsed GM. Even (to take it to the absurd) the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

    The comparison to conventional breeding was no mistake. Conventional breeding also represents genetic change that can, indeed, be hazardous. For example : most plants produce natural insecticides. In small amounts they do little harm to people, but in large doses can be very toxic. Conventional breeding sometimes results in a new strain that produces lots of such toxins. I remember reading about a new strain of celery, from conventional breeding, that had so much of the natural insecticide, psoralin, that it raised welts on bare skin that touched the celery.

    Any genetic change in a crop involves a degree of risk, whether GM or breeding (or deliberate mutation). It is quite appropriate for those scientists involved in biotech to raise the point that conventional breeding is not required to meet the same testing protocols that GM undergoes.
     
  11. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    *Scratches head*

    Funny, I wonder why you'd need to grow GM onions?

    Onions are extremely rot and pest-resistant as it is, in fact, onions tend to keep bugs off other plants grown nearby, in my experience.
     
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That does not make it similar to current modification technology, in means, hazards, or desired ends. To the extent they come from the informed, such claims are lies, blatant and ugly deceptions, attempts at bait and switch by disreputable and ill-motivated charlatans.
     
  13. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    iceaura

    The point is related to risk.
    GM and conventional breeding both involve genetic change and they both impose risk upon the user of the resultant crop or food.

    In this respect the two are comparable. The main anti-GM argument is about risk. I point out that conventional breeding, which is widely accepted as OK by the anti-GM lobby groups, also carries risk.
     
  14. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    Utter crap. Not worthy of a response.
     
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Already dismissed as unethical deception via misleading rhetoric.
     
  16. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Ultra and iceaura

    Am I to take it from you last posts that you have run out of intelligent things to say?
     
  17. tantalus Registered Senior Member

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    Iceaura and Ultra
    it depends on how you define genetic modification

    wikipedia coughed this one up
    based on that, conventional breeding is genetic modification and to be honest I am willing to go along with such terminology. When you breed 2 varities, you cant predict for certain what you will get genetically, its a random process, or how it will interact with environment. However the action of breeding them can technically be called unnatural as they most likely wouldnt have met naturally and as it happens are probably plants that are already bred conventionally and are technically unnatural, just like GM. Thats not to say that there isnt a difference, ofcourse there is a difference as the techniques GM and conventional breeding use are different.

    Conventional is the random mixing of genes of 2 plants-varities
    GM is the specific insertion of a gene (not necessarily plant)

    The dangers of GM in the environment havnt really materialised, I have worked on an organic farm for 17 years (and love it), Personally I am an advocator of small scale, localised , labour intensive horticulture, for Ireland anyways, so I am not exactly a GM cheerleader, but I havnt seen the evidence and the EU has done a hell of alot of research. Furthermore, there is no technical reason to believe greater risk compared to conventional, some would say the additional testing was actually excessive on biological and environmental grounds, however caution is the best approach imo. There still remains great concerns regarding legal and finiacial issues with GM. For these reasons, I still oppose GM in my country Ireland. Not least the concern that companies such as Monsanto have patented the techniques. No doubt organic will reject GM, however I would rather see a clear rational explanation why. For now, I see clear legal and economic reasons (as in further domination of food production by the big boys), but not biological/environmental......
     
  18. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    Conventional breeding does not amount to genetic modification in scientific terms as the science of GM is viewed, and to suggest otherwise is completely disingenuous.
     
  19. tantalus Registered Senior Member

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    I am not trying to be disingenous. Its best not to try to define it by the field of gentic modification as conventional breeding falls under the field of plant breeding, but by an actual direct definition of genetic modification, I supplied one and I think it can be approppiately applied to conventional breeding. By all means disagree with it and supply an alternative definition or interpretation. This is purely semantics ocourse and doesnt change the arguements throughut this thread or on the issue of GM as a whole. I am not trying to hide the obvious differences between conventional and GM, those differnces dont dissappear even if they are both techincally genetic modification (in my view), albeit different forms...
     
  20. ULTRA Realistically Surreal Registered Senior Member

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    Ok, maybe I was a little harsh? But people do like to try to muddy the waters. As a biologist who worked for years in a genetics lab, i can say there is a considerable difference.
    The integration of foreign DNA into a genome can't be considered natural however you phrase it! It wouldn't happen in nature. That's the difference.
     
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    No, it isn't.

    The reason the semantics matter is that industrial GM is trying to pass itself off as something familiar and of only ordinary risk. The PR crews for Monsanto et al want to merge their brand new techniques, with their little known and possibly dramatic downsides, with stuff everybody has been familiar with for hundreds of years.
     
  22. birch Valued Senior Member

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    no one really knows the full-extent of the long-term effects of gm foods.

    this is breaching at times the natural order of how genes interact. some modified foods may be harmless while others could create a negative chain reaction in one's body or in the environment.
     
  23. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    It is genetic modification...but hardly in the same way. Plant breeding is a lot slower, but a lot safer.

    When you look into the technique, which usually involves using a viral agent to splice in genes, you wonder if perhaps the genes can get out?

    I've noted in the other thread about this issue: GM genes have been found in the Mexican land-race maize.
    I think it was the Roundup-Ready genes... the thing with the glyphosate-resistance genes, is that if they get into a weed, well, then we can't kill said weed with glyphosate anymore...and the Mexican corn lives in close proximity to cornlike plants (excuse me, maize)

    In addition:
    If we had widespread crop problems with our current maize lines in the US, well, we'd want to have access to uncontaminated Mexican land-race maize.
    That's where we'd go to find replacements...

    There's a worry with GM foods and people with food allergies.

    If you're not allergic to foods, then GM's not likely to be a consumption worry unless you're adding a toxin to the plant...but some of what GM does IS add toxin-producing abilities.

    Another worry with GM? being TOO successful with a crop plant-and creating a weed...
    Kudzu is an edible vine-all parts...and it was introduced in the southern US from Japan for erosion control and cattle fodder.

    Well, in the southern US it was discovered to do this:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!


    (say hi to the poster child of invasive non-native plants)
    Grows about a foot a day. Very little can stop it. Cannot even be killed with fire...it will come back from the pods years later. My wife won't let me plant it and make the trailer we're living in look like the above picture. I am disappoint.

    ( People in Georgia should be eating more kudzu-it's a nitrogen-fixing plant, and the root's an excellent complex carbohydrate...but I digress.)

    So we could make a GM crop that gets rambunctious and takes over like kudzu, disrupting both the natural habitat and our crops.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011

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